Live from ACC: GolfWorks Swings into Europe

San Francisco–Golf club parts and equipment marketer The GolfWorks is hoping to score overseas once it launches its European catalog next week.

Though the Columbus, OH-based company is mailing into European Community countries, says co-CEO Al Bessin, 60%-70% will be mailed into Great Britain. GolfWorks has already set up a call center/distribution facility in Upton, U.K., to handle overseas orders.

“In the U.S. we mail to business-to-business buyers and do-it-yourselfers, but in Europe we’re mailing all to b-to-b,” Bessin says. That’s because in the U.S. golf pros mostly teach, while in Europe golf pros are also clubmakers. The initial mailing quantity in Europe will be less than 10,000, and Bessin does not expect further mailings to exceed that number because of the paucity of lists. Up to 25% of the European names it’s mailing come from GolfWorks’ house file; the largest list it is renting has just 5,000 names.

For its fore-ay into the EC, GolfWorks has printed copies of its U.S. catalog without prices. The company will polybag the books with a price list in local currency. This is more cost-effective than printing catalogs for each market, Bessin notes.

GolfWorks expects to benefit from the brand recognition of its parent company, Ralph Maltby, which is well known in Europe, Bessin says. Not that the Continent is totally foreign to GolfWorks, as the company has already won a fair amount of business in Europe with its U.S. catalog.

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